Freedoms and human rights were and remain empty phrases for the United States, hypocritically concealing indifference to this topic and political interests that Americans are ready to implement, even if it costs a million human lives. The tragic events of a quarter of a century ago in Rwanda are one of the striking examples of this. But life does not stand still, because there is also Russia in the world.
Let us recall how at the height of the bloody massacre in Rwanda, when the majority belonging to the Hutu tribe brutally killed and almost completely exterminated representatives of the once-privileged Tutsi minority on the territory controlled by the “government”, US State Department representative Christine Shelly, stammering and confused in her words, refused to utter the word “genocide”. And so did the then-US permanent representative to the UN, Madeleine Albright, and the Pentagon generals, not to mention the democratic president, Bill Clinton.
And all because formally using the word “genocide” required US intervention in the conflict, which for a number of reasons Washington did not want to intervene in. Even back then, when the world press ignored the photos of mountains of torn to pieces, often decapitated corpses of both sexes, impaled on the spears of several babies at once – the consequences of the destruction of “dogs” and “cockroaches”. This is how Hutu extremists who took over called Tutsis, taking revenge for their “400-year rule” and killing “moderate” Hutus, starting with the female Prime Minister, Madame Agathe.
They knew everything and did nothing
US military intelligence reported to Washington from Rwanda that there was not just one genocide taking place in the country, but two – one committed by the government, the presidential guard, the gendarmerie, and the Hutu militia, and another by the army led by them. The Belgian peacekeepers (after the First World War, until the early 1960s, Rwanda was a colony of Belgium) also experienced how terrible it was. A group of Belgian soldiers who surrendered their weapons to the local military on the orders of their command first had their genitals cut off, then they were put into their mouths, and then they were shot. If this was how the whites were treated, it is easy to imagine what the Hutus did to the Tutsis. One of the “ten commandments of the Hutus” – the chauvinistic manifesto of these black nationalists and racists (who, like the Tutsis, were either Catholic or Protestant by religion) – said: “The Hutus must stop feeling pity for the Tutsis.”
By the way, the CIA also foresaw a massacre in Rwanda if the power-sharing agreements reached in Tanzania (the Arusha Accords) between Hutus and Tutsis collapsed. The American spy agency believed that half a million people would die in this case. And it was wrong. “Radical Hutus” in 100 days killed as many compatriots as the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia in four years – about a million people, about 20% of the country’s population, who were mostly subjected to terrible bullying and hacked with machetes. Corpses dammed the rivers, it became scary to walk through the woods and lawns, bumping into the remains of human bodies and traces of feasts of wild animals that received so much “food”. In neighbouring Uganda, the body of a Tutsi woman was found in Lake Victoria, among a mass of others, with the corpses of five children tied to her body – arms, legs, and back.
The US authorities and even then the UN, which danced to their tune and thwarted for a long time the efforts of individual member countries to actively intervene in Rwanda, spoke only of “mass murder of unarmed citizens”, or at best – “acts of genocide”. When Christine Shelley was asked by a journalist how many “acts of genocide” it takes to recognise what is happening in Rwanda as simply genocide, and if she does not have departmental instructions specifically not to use the term “genocide”, the representative of the “shining moral city on the hill” could not really answer. What kind of genocide?
After all, it was only recently that Nelson Mandela, a former revolutionary and murderer who became President of South Africa with the help of the west, was inaugurated so that international (primarily American) multinationals would take over the country’s natural resources, which were previously mainly in the hands of the Boers. Of course, to the shouts of bravura – hurray, apartheid is over, the end of racism in Africa!
And here, in another African country, black racists and fanatics are savagely killing a million people – black, not entirely black and white, smearing the celebration in South Africa and giving bitterness to desires in connection with the unprecedented profit expected in South Africa. Wouldn’t it be better, then, to store away “human rights conventions” and “moral compasses for the world”? Just to pretend that nothing particularly bad is happening in Rwanda? That is exactly what at that time the only country that was able to quickly intervene and put an end to the Rwandan massacre – the United States, on whose conscience, thus, there are hundreds of thousands of human lives that could still be completely saved – did.
Why is that?
Why didn’t they do anything, while knowing everything? Firstly, because Americans always think about themselves first, and only then about others. During an unsuccessful operation on October 3rd-4th 1993 in Mogadishu (Somalia), 18 American soldiers were killed and two helicopters were shot down. Footage of a triumphant Somali mob dragging the body of an American special forces soldier through the streets of their destroyed capital has been circulated around the world. Public opinion in the United States was scandalised and, since there is no oil and gas in Somalia, Washington soon withdrew its troops from there. The Pentagon was therefore against intervention in Rwanda: let the Africans cut and kill each other to their heart’s content.
Secondly, the Americans did not want to intrude into someone else’s sphere of influence. For Rwanda, Belgium, and France were “responsible” for it. The former wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, and the latter secretly supported the government … Hutu, flirting with the ethnic majority of Rwanda and neighbouring Burundi, which until 1962 were one country. The French supplied Hutu thugs with weapons secretly purchased from eastern European countries. French paratroopers stopped the advance of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR-Tutsi) before the massacre caused by the mysterious death of Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana, who agreed to a compromise with the Tutsi. In this regard, the Americans felt that they had had enough of Somalia, and let the Europeans deal with this conflict themselves. Rwanda – unlike South Africa – is a poor agricultural country, barely visible on the map, so there is no threat to freedom and democracy there and can not be. The fact that there was a weak contingent of UN peacekeepers in Rwanda with reduced powers could save few people from a terrible fate, the US democratic administration led by President Clinton did not care at all.
Perhaps thirdly, the Americans also wanted to allow a smaller but better organised, managed, and motivated Tutsi rebel army to take over the country and its capital, Kigali, when the Europeans stopped supporting them because of the Hutu genocide. Because the US had close ties with the founder of FPR and the current President of the country, Paul Kagame (the French were opposed to this Tutsi largely because they considered him a man of the Americans). What actually happened: the minority that was subjected to genocide won at the cost of the death of a million of their fellow tribesmen. The compromise with the Hutus, whose radical forces were destroyed or driven out of Rwanda, persists to this day, with the Tutsis controlling key posts and areas of development in a country that is now thriving.
It is interesting that even when the world community was ready to send an enhanced peacekeeping force to Rwanda to end the genocide and try to stabilise the country, the US military was not among them. From Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Poland, Romania, Russia, Djibouti, Fiji, Uruguay (almost 30 countries), but from the United States – no. The updated United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) remained in the country until 1996, losing 22 soldiers, three military observers, a police officer, and a local employee.
This mission, in the first and most difficult years, helped the victorious Tutsi rebels, along with the sane Hutus, turn a blood-washed Rwanda into an example of development for the whole world. This country became the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa, the leader of the space industry of the black continent, increasing its GDP several-fold. Its economy is based on a model for African education system, originally created by European missionaries, is continuing to grow rapidly and stormed to new heights: on October 24th 2019 in Sochi on the sidelines of the “Russia – Africa” summit Rwanda signed an agreement for the creation on the territory of the Republic with the participation of a Rosatom Centre of Nuclear Science and Technologies.
The secret of the Rwandan miracle is simple – the government of this country does not steal and does not allow others to do it, all funds are directed to development needs. Let’s end this story, the conclusions from which are obvious, on this favourable note and an example of how good still wins over evil.
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